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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4464


HOTIMSKY, Sonia Nussenzweig et al. Childbirth as I see it.... or the way I wish it was?: expectations of pregnant women towards childbirth and obstetric care in the public health care system. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.18, n.5, pp.1303-1311. ISSN 0102-311X.

Explanations for increased cesarean section rates in Brazil have focused on the organization of obstetric care, training of health professionals, and women's demand for surgical deliveries. This study aimed to identify pregnant women's expectations towards childbirth. Three focus groups were conducted in a public hospital in the city of São Paulo. Analytical categories were: vaginal birth, forceps, c-section, prenatal care, and obstetric care. The desire for c-sections was associated with a demand for tubal ligation, and although women feared labor pains, they were more afraid of how the obstetric team might react to their complaints. Lack of information on reproductive issues was associated with a demand for more information. There was a preference for vaginal births, since most women feared c-sections due to risks associated with this surgical intervention. The authors propose that the demand for cesareans among women should be reconsidered as one of the main factors in the rise in surgical deliveries in the Brazilian health care system.

Keywords : Reproductive Health; Obstetrics; Delivery; Health Services Research.

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